Unions have an understandable dislike for doing business with nonunion employers. It's a matter of self-interest. And as the City of Charlotte prepares to host the Democratic National Convention during September 3-6, a growing roster of labor and politically allied organizations are indicating their displeasure over the party's decision to hold the event in that decidedly nonunion locale. Some groups, which include an apparently chastened Democratic National Committee, are shifting deposits from the Charlotte-based Bank of America (BoA) to a union-owned New York City institution, Amalgamated Bank.
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has taken her gloves off in the ongoing war within the states. And her supporters are aching for more. In a speech before a partisan audience at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. last Saturday, Solis proclaimed solidarity with Wisconsin public-sector unions and their supporters who have all but shut down the state legislature in protest of Republican Gov. Scott Walker's proposals to curb public spending.
A Democratic National Committee donor was arrested on Monday for death threats that he made toward Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), but many journalists are still blaming the conservative "tea party" movement for allegedly fomenting political violence.
Philadelphia resident Norman Leboon, 33, was charged for posting a YouTube video in which he threatened to kill Cantor and his family, just days after a bullet was fired through the window of Cantor’s Richmond campaign office by an unknown gunman.
"You receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer's abominations," Leboon reportedly said in the video. According to Federal Election Commission filings, Leboon is a Barack Obama supporter, who donated $505 to the Democratic National Committee in June, 2008.
By a wide margin yesterday, Virginia voters nominated State Senator R. Creigh Deeds as the Democratic Party candidate for governor. In so doing, they rejected the candidacy of former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe, a top Clinton confidante with a long history of influence-peddling. With roughly 75 percent of the ballots counted, Deeds had received about 50 percent of the tally, with McAuliffe and State Delegate Brian Moran each with roughly 25 percent. Deeds will face Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who ran unopposed, in this November's general election. But the real news may be the defeat of McAuliffe, a powerful and ethically-challenged party fundraiser. Former President Bill Clinton, among other party stalwarts, actively had stumped on his behalf.
U.S. Dist. Judge Gladys Kessler (D.D.C., Clinton) blocked the Fed. Election Comm'n July 16 from re-releasing public documents from FEC's probe of 1996 campaign efforts of AFL-CIO, the Democratic Nat'l Committee, and other liberal entities. Kessler's preliminary injunction, sought by AFL-CIO/DNC, came a day before FEC planned to re-release the documents, which may contain evidence of union embezzlement crimes whose statutes of limitations are due to run this Fall. Despite this, Kessler's order will remain in effect until at least Oct.; she claims no one will suffer a great injury from the delay. AFL-CIO/DNC claim the documents contain "proprietary information," including campaign strategies and employees' names. [AP 7/16/01; BNA 7/17/01]
U.S. Dist. Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., (D. Md., Clinton) allowed the Dep't of Labor to proceed with its suit June 15 alleging that trustees of the Nat'l Elec. Benefit Fund, which is linked to the Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, breached their ERISA fiduciary duties by investing in Am. Capitol Group I Assets LP, a Fla. real estate firm, tied to Democratic Nat'l Committee chairman Terence R. McAuliffe and his wife. In 1999, DOL sued trustees Jack Moore and John Grau alleging imprudent real estate deals.
Reversing an earlier move, the Federal Election Comm'n voted to place back on the public record thousands of pages of documents regarding an FEC probe of AFL-CIO dealings with the Democratic Party. FEC voted unanimously to reject requests from the labor federation and the Democratic Nat'l Committee to keep the documents confidential, according to a July 10 letter to DNC gen. counsel Joseph Sandler. In its initial response to the AFL-CIO and DNC requests, FEC in May had made an unprecedented decision to remove the case file from the public record. The letter said the file on the case (MUR 4291) would be made public again July 17. That gives AFL-CIO and DNC time to challenge the decision in court.
The Democratic Nat. Committee was the last of the six major party committees to report soft money contributions for Jan.-Jun. 1999, and the amount raked in from unions is staggering. DNC took in $927,500 in union soft money, some from several of America's most corrupt unions like the Am. Fed. of State, County & Municipal Employees and the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int'l Union.
Here are the six month totals according to Public Disclosure, Inc.: Communications Workers of Am. $225,000; Int'l Ass'n of Machinists $95,000; Int'l Bhd. of Electrical Workers $87,500; United Ass'n of Plumbing & Pipe Fitters $85,000; Int'l Ass'n of Fire Fighters $80,000; Sheet Metal Workers $75,000; Am. Fed. of Teachers $65,000; Nat. Edu. Ass'n $50,000; United Food & Commercial Workers $50,000; AFSCME $40,000; Am. Fed. of Gov't Employees $25,000; AFL-CIO $25,000; HERE $25,000.